Shipping Corporation of India is planning to sell two vessels – a 25-year-old bulk carrier and a 20-year-old single hull tanker – from its fleet of 79 ships this year.
The company also plans to evaluate 12 other vessels – 10 offshore supply vessels and two passenger ships – that would complete 25 years by next year, to decide on whether to retain or dispose these. The company’s fleet has an average age of 15 years. “We are considering selling some of these ships. We might retain a few,” said SCI Chairman S Hajara.
SCI is likely to get $5-7 million per vessel depending on the dead weight tonnage. The company had sold nine vessels in 2009-10. The shipping major is also considering foraying into the business of rigs. It is in talks with some operators.
“The business is likely to be profitable. It is still very early stages,” said Hajara.
The company is also working on a blueprint to start ship building activity as part of its backward integration. SCI decided to launch its follow on public offer (FPO) before going ahead with it plans to diversify. “We did not want to confuse the investor. The due diligence is going on. We cannot give a time frame on this matter,” Hajara added.
SCI is going to add 17 vessels to its fleet during FY12. Hajara said rising bunker rates is not good news for the shipping industry especially when freight rates are not showing a good trend.